Transgender community, authorities meet to discuss safety

By : Wire Report
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NEW ORLEANS (AP)- Members of the transgender community, the New Orleans police and local officials met during a town hall discussion on transgender violence.

The New Orleans Advocate reported the Friday forum was hosted by the Trans United Fund and Transitions Louisiana.

It was called after two transgender women, Ciara McElveen and Chyna Gibson, were killed recently in New Orleans.

Along with members of the local LGBT community, City Council members Jason Williams and LaToya Cantrell and the New Orleans Police Department’s liaison to the LGBT community, Frank Robertson, attended the meeting.

Robertson said police don’t believe the two killings were connected but promised police will pursue the cases. He told the packed crowd at the First Unitarian Universalist Church that he understands that killings of transgender people have “a hateful spirit” in common.

“We’re not letting this go,” he said. “We’re going to get these cases solved.”

But Dorian Alexander questioned what the city was doing to make sure the crimes were thoroughly investigated and why authorities thought the crimes were not related.

“When these women are murdered, it seems very apparent it is because of who they are and how they look,” he said.

Jai Shavers, an organizer from the group Breakout, said while he appreciates Robertson wants the community to feel that the NOPD is “family,” it will require more than just talk. He advised Robertson to seek out people who may not want to step forward because they don’t feel safe.

Robertson said he’s made his phone number available and has pledged to meet with anyone.

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